Neptune Society shortchanged cremation customers, California says in suit

The state legal professional normal sued the Neptune Society on Monday, claiming the well-known firm pocketed $100 million that it ought to have stored in reserve for individuals who signed up for its pay as you go cremation service plans.

Consequently, lots of the firm’s prospects did not get full refunds in the event that they canceled their contracts, and 1000’s of different pay as you go prospects might additionally lose their cash in the event that they cancel, the lawsuit says.

The corporate additionally falsely claimed to make use of its personal crematoriums when actually it contracted with others and illegally accelerated funds when prospects died, amongst different deceptive enterprise practices, the lawsuit says.

Beth Dombrowa, a spokeswoman for Neptune and its dad or mum firm, Texas-based Service Corp. Worldwide, mentioned she couldn’t instantly remark. The lawsuit additionally names a subsidiary, the Trident Society.

The corporate and its subsidiaries are North America’s largest supplier of funeral, cremation and cemetery providers.

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra and three Bay Space prosecutors mentioned that the Neptune Society broke state regulation by failing to carry in a totally refundable belief greater than $100 million prospects paid for the cremation plans.

The lawsuit doesn’t say that anybody lacked the cash when it got here time to be cremated, solely that it’s a risk as a result of Neptune doesn’t correctly put aside the cash it collects. However it says the corporate shortchanged prospects who have been entitled to full refunds in the event that they canceled their contracts.

“Everyone dies,” begins the lawsuit, noting that in California almost two-thirds of individuals select to be cremated when the inevitable occurs. Many select to prepay for these providers via corporations similar to Neptune.

The corporate is “swindling customers who were simply trying to look out for their families and prepare for one of life’s most difficult moments,” Becerra mentioned in an announcement.

The swimsuit alleges that Neptune steered 99% of consumers to its Normal Neptune Plan, which included each cremation providers and associated merchandise, however then illegally stored about half the cash as a result of it was earmarked for the merchandise.

The swimsuit says Neptune thus deceived customers who thought all their cash was protected, as required by California regulation.

“Consumers should expect the money paid toward future funeral needs will be fully protected and available to pay for the necessary services when the need ultimately arises so family and loved ones are not further burdened,” Marin County Dist. Atty. Lori Frugoli mentioned in an announcement.

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